Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Rearview Mirror?

To be perfectly honest, I'm a bit conflicted about the shakeup in the OLO. On the one hand, bringing in Donolo looks like a shrewd move, impressive, talented guy, with an extensive pedigree. The appointment seems to be generating a favorable response from most Liberals.

However, and this is no slight on Donolo, I'm a bit concerned with this "rear view mirror" mentality that tends to dominate Liberal thinking. There are rumors that Donolo will bring in old Martin and Chretien people, some experience to try and turn things around. I agree with expanding the "team", Ignatieff should draw from the biggest intellectual pool possible. My only worry, this "expertise" comes with a glory day mentality, this sense that Liberals can recapture past magic. It is noteworthy, that Donolo held his communication post with Chretien 18 years ago- ancient times in the modern political reality. If Donolo surrounds himself with other past "heroes", there may be a tendency to rely on outdated templates, approaches that lack new ways of thinking.

Maybe it's because I just recently joined the Liberal Party, and wasn't particularly enamored with it's past manifestations, but the past isn't the golden age in my mind. The fact of the matter, the rot that the Liberal Party is dealing with now, the "lost our soul" difficulties all began under the reign of these "sages". In many respects, with the party held power under ideal conditions, it became an empty vehicle, which is something that plagues it to this today. IF, Liberals are under the illusion that we can simply bring old warhorses back into the fold and victory will be at hand, then we will deserve our fate in the end.

There's a real pecking order within the Liberal Party, and my brief exposure sees lots of jockeying and backroom postures. Re-energizing this party with fresh ideas, and blood for that matter, is the true to key to an attractive presentation. While experience is essential, that can be a drag on progressive thinking, because it relies on recapturing, re-inventing, when dynamics have changed.

I wish Donolo well, and I don't question his suitability. What I would stress, the CHIEF liability for this party at the moment is a lack of identity. That must be the focus, "bringing back the band" is fine, but keep looking at the horizon, not the rearview mirror.

12 comments:

Omar said...

Just ask the Toronto Blue Jays how reliving and basking in the "glory day mentality" has worked for them over the past decade plus. And what about Kinsella? Another glory day holdover who seems to grate on as many Liberals as he does Conservatives. I believe many would have applauded to see that wind-bag get the hoof.

Marpman said...

He may have a mandate to bring forward new ideas and expand the circle of influence. In the short term there may be some blood-letting which might be very good for the party.
Simply put...he cannot do any worse than Davey.

Steve V said...

I like Donolo. I'm not a big fan of bringing back all these old party hacks to try and reinvent a tired model.

RuralSandi said...

One thing about it - because of his polling days, Donolo has a pulse on Canadians.

I'm so tired of everyone criticizing old, new or whatever. It's whatever works that counts.

Hey, Harper's got Delgiorno (sp?) of the Mike Harris glory days - how's that going so far?

Enough bitching - let's see what happens because it can't get any worse.

Steve V said...

I wouldn't describe expressing a concern as "bitching" :) I like Donolo, it's what else comes in that has me curious.

Jesse said...

But do you have a problem with how the old OLO and PMOs were run, or with the way they communicated?

Steve V said...

I think much of the glory days were a historical mirage. I also think the Liberal Party lost its soul in the process, and we're still paying the price.

Northern PoV said...

I will take ancient successful operatives any day over the antics of the last six months.
The crowd around Iggy never learned much as they snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in the 2006 leadership race.

Jerry Prager said...

There is also no reason why Ian Davey should be defined by his father's Rainmaker Days either, he should free himself of his father's legacy and get his own life. St. Paul says something about seeding churches, wherein he seeds them and somebody else nurtures them. Davey seeded us Ignatieff, let's see if Donolo can nurture him.

RuralSandi said...

Well, the NDP and Con strategists, i.e. Ann McGrath and Tim Powers are in full criticize mode - they must be worried.

Koby said...

I will say this about Donolo; he is right about the following: The Liberals need “sharp wedge issues with the Harper government”. The "cool Canada" Liberals might have been without a soul, but they were at least tolerable. Currently, I can not think of single Liberal policy that would push me to lift a finger for the party.

I am with Steve. I too do not much care for 1993-2005 version of the Liberals and while this would not matter a lick if the rest of population felt otherwise, the truth is very few Canadians would describe these governments in glowing terms. Furthermore, to pretend that the electorial success that the Liberals enjoyed in Ontario during these years was anything other than an anomaly is wrong.

mystereeoso said...

I find it sad this stuff gets more play in the press, on twitty etc. than actual issues. If it's all about who pulls the strings, the import is puppetry has supplanted the issues.Why doesn't the shadow caucus come out swinging?